Two Islanders file to fill Constantine's seat on King County Council

Eleven King County residents — including two Vashon Islanders — have stepped forward asking to be selected to fill the seat on the county council vacated by newly elected County Executive Dow Constantine.

Applicants include Is-

landers Jake Jacobovitch, an engineer in the county’s Road Services Division, and Sharon Nelson, a state representative from the 34th District, which includes Vashon.

Constantine was sworn in as the county’s new executive last week, leaving empty his 8th District seat — which takes in Vashon, West Seattle, Normandy Park and Burien.

The council hopes to appoint his replacement before the end of the year, according to King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. The appointee will serve in the position until the general election in November 2010.

A 12-person advisory committee will interview the applicants.

Other applicants are:

• Jan Drago, a member of the Seattle City Council who is leaving the council this year;

• Helen Howell, former director of the state Department of Financial Insti-tutions;

• Zack Hudgins, state representative from the 11th District;

• Arun Jhaveri, former regional technology manager with the Federal Energy Management Program and former mayor of Burien;

• Lucy Krakowiak, Burien City Council member and a member of the King County Library Sys-tem’s board of trustees;

• Joe McDermott, state senator from the 34th District;

• Shawn McEvoy, mayor of Normandy Park;

• Vlad Oustimovitch, a

partner at VoKa Inc.; and

• Kathleen Quong-Ver-meire, a commissioner for Highline Water District and former mayor of Normandy Park.

The county’s advisory committee — which Tom Dean, head of the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, is a member of — will interview the applicants and send on to the county council three to six candidates who meet the qualifications.

The council is currently weighing whether to appoint someone who, if selected, would intend to

run for the position in Nov-ember 2010, or someone who would not seek the position in the November 2010 election.

Nelson said she would not run for the position next November if the council selected her to fill the seat. Jacobovitch said he’d run for election in 2010 but would take the post if the council said his appointment was contigent on his not running for election.

Nelson, who worked for Constantine for eight years before becoming a state representative, said she believes she could ensure “a smooth transition.”

“We have 193,00 constituents who this individual’s going to be serving,” she added. “And you need to know their needs. I think I do, after having been in District 8 for eight years.”

Jacobovitch, in an e-mail to The Beachcomber, sited his 24-year career in the county, his role on countywide task forces and his participation on Vashon boards and organizations.

“I am a straightforward, plain-talking, hard-working, problem-solving ‘everyman’ who focuses on being accessible, responsive and accountable,” he said in his e-mail.

“Appointment to this position would be a natural progression for me that would provide the resources and authority to continue my efforts for the improvement of our community, environment and people.”

Meanwhile, Constantine has begun putting together his administration after a bruising campaign for the county’s highest office.

Constantine announced earlier this month that he had selected his former primary rival, State Sen. Fred Jarrett of Mercer Island, as his deput, a critical spot in his administration.

Jarrett, who is highly respected by Olympia colleagues from across the political spectrum, will give up his legislative seat in order to take the reins of the day-to-day operations of county government.

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